When my writing group decided on paranormal romance as the theme for our latest anthology, I knew right away I was going to get my inspiration from my birth country. Here in the US, only the immigrants are familiar with the Filipino folklore. Their descendants get to learn about them when and if they visit the Philippines. To the best of my knowledge, no one has written about Filipino mythical beings yet in paranormal romance, so I decided to be the first.
The next question was the choice of which creature to be the central character of my story. I considered the following options:
As I only had 6,000 words and since during brainstorming, I couldn’t conceptualize a plot that made the above monsters sexy, I decided to search some more.
I considered the multo or ghost, but we already had a couple of stories with them as the subject; the sirena or mermaid, but I couldn’t think of an original take that doesn’t resemble the Disney version. I also thought of the mangkukulam - the generic term for a witch or a wizard, but again, they’re not unique to the Philippines.
What is unique and what kept calling me is the diwata, a minor deity in Filipino folklore: female, beautiful, the closest Western counterpart is a forest nymph. Once the choice was made, everything fell into place.
Diwata, my story in MOONLIGHT, MONSTERS & MAGIC, a Paranormal Romance Sexy Shorts Collection, is inspired by the Filipino myth about Maria Makiling. It has many versions, but the main tale has always been thus:
In the mountain called Makiling, town of Los Baños, province of Laguna, resides a forest nymph who falls in love with a mortal. The love is sometimes reciprocated, other times not. Circumstances always prevent them from being together. Brokenhearted and bitter, Maria retreats to her mountain, never to be seen again.
In my version, she lives.
As beautiful as ever.
As vindictive as people never thought she could be.
Moonlight, Monsters & Magic
What do you get when you put 13 wickedly talented authors together in one collection?
MOONLIGHT and MONSTERS and MAGIC, oh my!
Find tales of shifters and witches, ghosts and mythical creatures, and even an angel or two in this supernatural anthology of paranormal romance stories, featuring award-winning paranormal romance author, Linda G. Hill.
Treat yourself to a phenomenal read!
DIWATA by Zara M Baily (LovRRs Author)
With his life at stake, Comandante Julio Gomez arrives in the Philippines, hoping to reverse a century-old curse that a mountain nymph placed on his ancestor. Julio doesn’t expect to meet the woman from his troubled dreams. (m/f, heat level: smoking)
More About Zara
Zara M Baily writes multicultural romance short stories that are erotic, paranormal, fantasy, and perhaps also historical in the future. One thing is for certain: Zara doesn’t do and won’t ever do sweet. Or clean. Her sexytimes may be dirty at times, but they’re always, always consensual and responsible.
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